Injuries, fielding hurt Sri Lanka's chances in World Cup: Angelo Mathews
A combination of poor fielding and regularly losing players through injuries has hurt Sri Lanka's chances in the cricket World Cup, captain Angelo Mathews said on Friday.
Colombo: A combination of poor fielding and regularly losing players through injuries has hurt Sri Lanka's chances in the cricket World Cup, captain Angelo Mathews said on Friday.
"Our fielding levels dropped," Mathews said, adding that losing as many as five players from the original squad of 15 left the team unbalanced.
Sri Lanka lost fast bowler Dhammika Prasad, opening batsman Dimuth Karunaratne, main spin bowler Rangana Herath, all-rounder Jeewan Mendis and middle-order batsman Dinesh Chandimal at various stages of the tournament.
Mathews defended the decision to make key changes in the quarterfinal against South Africa, which they lost by nine wickets. Tharindu Kaushal, a young off-spinner was given his ODI debut while Kusal Janith Perera was drafted to open innings after coming into the side as a replacement.
"Kaushal is an attacking bowler and we wanted to make use of the fact that he had not been seen before," Mathews said.
Sri Lanka's campaign ended with the 9-wicket defeat to South Africa and it was the first time since 1999 that they failed to reach the semifinal stage. They were runners up in both 2007 and 2011.
Chairman of selectors Sanath Jayasuriya said in future Sri Lanka would deploy a very tight physical fitness regime for the national squad.
"We will take a very closer look at fitness levels of players beginning from the Sri Lanka A squad," Jayasuriya said.
Coach Marvan Atapattu defended himself against criticism in his role.
"If we did not lose to Australia we would have finished second in our group, then we would not have faced South Africa," Atapattu said.